My friend Sam had a baby! Hooray! Although I did manage to make her some pretty awesome Blondies for consumption (and comfort) during her hospital stay (and BTW, THANKS Trader Joes Blondie Mix- you never fail to impress!), my girlfriends and I decided to get together and make some real food to send over to the new parents.
I have not blogged at all about actually cooking something for as those who know me (or are literate and actually ready the title of this blog) know, I am NOT a good cook. So of course, I thought something as complicated and yummy as lasagna was way out of my league. I also just thought I would never want to make it because it seems like it takes a long freakin' time and as the mom of a two year old tornado- I don't often get an hour and a half to make a lasagna!
Enter my dear friend (and mom-to-be and fantastic cook!) Meghan, who assures me that she has an Ina Garten recipe for lasagna that even I can make. Now I want to preface the following story with the fact that Meghan still did almost everything when it came to making our lasagna (I worked within my capabilities-chopping and stiring), BUT after seeing this dish made start to finish, I feel like even I-the mommy who doesn't cook- could do it. And it wouldn't even take me an hour an half!
Here's what you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 jar of tomato sauce (whatever brand ya like)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles- the NO BOIL kind! I didn't even know they existed!!!
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Ok, now Ina tells you to make your own tomato sauce. yeah right. I just asked my friend Francesco Rinaldi to provide and I think it worked out juuust fine.
Here's what you do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.
This thing looked beautiful coming out! Shoulda taken a picture- darn! You know what, I think I'm gonna make this lasagna all by myself next week and will update this blog with a photo. I should mention that if you doubt your own abilities to make this dish, good old Trader Joes makes an excellent frozen vegetable lasagna that I have relied on for a family dinner a good amount of times. Huff Post even rated that one the #1 best tasting frozen lasagna. Hey Trader Joes- two good product placements for you in this blog! Send me some free stuff! But don't send lasagna- cause I got that covered:)
Big shout out to Meg for teaching this terrible cook how to make such a tasty family dinner!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Today's post is simple. It is (the beginning of a) list of my favorite pizza places in neighborhoods around LA. Trust me, as a mom that doesn't cook- I know my freaking pizza. Here's a few pizza joints I love:
Silver Lake: Nicky D's Woodfire Pizza2764 Rowena Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90039 323-664-3333
Thin crust, lots of cheese (may wanna do a little napkin grease blotting on the top of this one), but so good. I like the "blond bunny", only order with marinara sauce. The Silver lake location is NOT a good place to take kids--its tiny. Order delivery.
|Hollywood: Pizzeria Mozza|